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AIM sees opportunity for Medicaid transformation

Saying “it’s an issue that transcends politics”, Governor Nixon continued his campaign to expand the state’s Medicaid system to draw down federal funding not only for increased patient care, but to spur economic activity in the health care sector and help hospitals that currently treat a large number of indigent patients.

Speaking to a crowd of several dozen health care workers and advocates at Capital Region Hospital in Jefferson City Thursday, the governor singled out Associated Industries of Missouri president Ray McCarty for his leadership on behalf of Missouri’s business community. McCarty flanked the governor along with a group of doctors and law enforcement officials who see the benefits the expansion can bring to Missouri.

During his remarks, Nixon said if the state did not move forward on Medicaid expansion, as many as 9,000 health care workers could lose their jobs, insurance premiums in Missouri would skyrocket and hundreds of inpatient psychiatric beds would go unfilled, turning potentially mentally unstable people out into the streets, endangering the public a

nd local law enforcement.

“Friends, standing still will not leave us in the same place we started,” said Nixon. “If we don’t move forward, we’ll fall behind with fewer jobs, higher costs and less safety. That’s not the right direction for the Show Me State.”

Nixon went on to point out a number of Republican governors who have announced their intentions to accept the Medicaid funding for their citizens.

“Here in Missouri, we must make the smart business decision, the right human decision, and bring the tax dollars we send to Washington back to work here in Missouri” said Nixon.

Without Medicaid expansion in Missouri, hospitals will be put in a bind when it comes to paying for patients without insurance who come to emergency rooms without the money to pay for care. Previously, the federal government helped hospitals offset some of those costs through the Disproportionate Share Hospital program, commonly known as DSH payments.

The Affordable Healthcare Act stops those payments in exchange for giving more people health insurance coverage under expanded the expanded Medicaid. Already, hospitals across Missouri, especially in smaller rural areas of the state are forecasting they could have to close their doors without the DSH payments.

“AIM is in support of using this opportunity to transform the Missouri Medicaid system into one that is more efficient and makes the best use of our tax dollars,” said McCarty. “We then support expanding a more efficient Medicaid system.”

Governor Nixon has traveled the state extensively, speaking to audiences and trying to turn the legislative tide that so far is resistant to the Medicaid expansion.

“Associated Industries of Missouri stands ready to do whatever we can to move the process forward for the good of all Missourians,” said McCarty. “We agree with Governor Nixon, to stand still is not the answer.”

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